• Partner's Perspective: Summertime: What Does It Mean to You?
  • Charles Jimerson Interviewed by South Florida Media Outlets for Condo Law Expertise
  • Third Jimerson Birr Partner Becomes Multiyear Recipient of Statewide Legal Elite Honor
  • Register Now for "Navigating the Post-Pandemic Era of Rapidly Escalating Construction Prices"
  • Partner Austin B. Calhoun Presents to Florida Swimming Pool Association
  • Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
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Austin T. Hamilton - Summertime: What Does It Mean to You?
Summertime means something different to everyone. To me, it is a chance to get outside, go to the beach, watch baseball and enjoy the heat. I have a lot of fond memories of the summer.  

In my youth, I always looked forward to the summertime. I was out of school and had the opportunity to stay up late and enjoy the warm weather. I have vivid memories of spending summers in Lafayette, Indiana visiting my grandparents. My family would go to Lafayette for at least a week every summer. My grandparents always had Schwan’s mint ice cream bars in their freezer. We would stay up late, sit in the glider on the front porch and tell stories. After dark, we would run around in the front yard and catch fireflies. I do not recall a time where we went to Lafayette without eating at Arnie’s at least one time. Even now, I recall the distinct smell of the pizza and the taste of an Arnie’s Junior (salad).

This year, my wife and I wanted to make the summer memorable for our family. As such, we decided to take a family vacation to Montana to explore the mountains as a family.  

We used the week as an opportunity to explore many different areas of southern Montana. We explored Yellowstone National Park a few times. While at Yellowstone, we took a hike to the Grand Prismatic overlook and hiked all the way to Fairy Falls. Despite the extensive piggy-back rides, the constant complaining that “my legs hurt”, and the multiple stops for water, we made it to the falls and enjoyed every minute of the exploration.
On another day, we rode a 6-seater side-by-side through the Custer Gallatin National Forest mountain range. I will never forget my wife screaming “go faster” as we were breaking 30 mph on a narrow and treacherous dirt path next to a 100 foot fall-off. Our clothes and bodies were covered with dust, but I will never forget that ride and my kids’ faces in their motocross-style helmets. 

We also went to our first rodeo in West Yellowstone. One of my sons channeled his inner Chis LeDoux and rode a mechanical bull for the first time. We laughed harder than I can remember laughing. Now we have a great memory that I will never forget.
Over the 7 day trip, we fished on the Gallatin River three separate times. Despite falling into the bitter cold water while trying to learn to cast the fly rod, my oldest son got up and wanted to go back the next day. While we caught a few rainbow trout, they were all on a spinning rod and not the fly rod. I guess we will just have to make a trip back until we finally catch a trout on the fly rod.

We concluded our trip by enjoying a relaxing 3-hour tubing ride down the Madison River. We floated alongside the beautiful mountains with a cold drink in our hands laughing and telling stories. To say the trip was memorable would be an understatement. While we did a lot of driving, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and the fresh air, wildlife and open space provided a temporary escape from our typical hectic and fast-paced lifestyle.
At the end of the day, we wanted to enjoy quality family time and make great memories—those memories that hopefully our children will remember and write about when they are our age. And memorable, we made it. I hope my older son will always remember catching his first rainbow trout on the Gallatin River and his first ride on a mechanical bull. While my younger son may be too young to have a lot of memories of the trip, I hope he will remember his belly-flops into the hot tub, which overlooked the mountain range from our cabin. That is something I will never forget.

I hope this summer you will take time to make great memories of your own. Whether that is a family vacation or simply a fun weekend outside. If you do not have any travel plans, hopefully you will find yourself under the stars reminiscing about previous summer days and pondering what summertime means to you. 
Austin T. Hamilton

Register Now: Industry Panel Discussion on Rapidly Rising Construction Prices
Sign up today for our virtual event on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 12:00 PM-1:00 PM. Three of our partners will present Navigating the Post-Pandemic Era of Rapidly Escalating Construction Prices: A Panel Discussion on Trends, Tips and Best Practices. This lively panel discussion with three attorneys and three industry leaders will focus on the hot button issue of the rapid escalation of construction material and labor prices we are experiencing across the industry during the post-pandemic economic recovery.

In addition to partners James O. "Joby" Birr, Austin B. Calhoun, and C. Ryan Maloney offering legal expertise, industry leaders Carson McCall of Perry-McCall Construction, Brent Zimmerman of Miller Electric Company, and David Sheffield of Coastal Construction Products, will offer the unique perspectives of general contractors, trade subcontractors, and material suppliers respectively. Key issues that will be covered include:

  • Industry trends and where things may be headed related to construction material and labor prices
  • Tips on ways to plan and prepare for escalating prices in the current volatile market environment
  • Ways to try to hedge and protect yourself in bids and contract negotiations
  • What to do if prices materially escalate mid-stream during the course of a project

Navigating the Post-Pandemic Era of Rapidly Escalating Construction Prices
Virtual Panel Discussion
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Third Partner Becomes Multiyear Recipient of Statewide Legal Elite Honor
Florida Trend Magazine released its annual list of Legal Elite attorneys, and three Jimerson Birr partners are now multiyear recipients of the award. Honorees include managing partner Charles B. Jimerson, partner James O. "Joby" Birr, and partner C. Ryan Maloney, who was first named a member of Florida's Legal Elite last year.

The full 2021 Florida's Legal Elite list represents just over one percent of active Florida Bar members, including attorneys in private practice as well as top government and non-profit attorneys who practice in the state.
Advocacy Following Tragedy in Surfside:
Guidance for Community Associations
As the tragedy in Surfside continues to develop, like many around the country, we are struck by the senseless loss of lives. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in this time of incomprehensible loss. When lives are at stake, be that in a condominium tower or a multi-level office building, there is no greater responsibility to look after than the safety of those who dwell, gather, or work there.

In the wake of this unprecedented tragedy, the media's attention turned to answering tough questions about condominium and homeowners' association governance, they asked managing partner Charles B. Jimerson to weigh in. From potential regulatory changes the state of Florida may see to gaps in current Florida laws, at our firm, which serves community associations throughout the state, we are trying to do our part to continue to shed light on areas that need actionable attention.

We issued a Legal Alert to our condominium and homeowners' association clients with urgent information regarding property inspection and preparation. A Community Risk Assessment has also been made available to help an interested party understand some of the important factors that lead to increased levels of exposure within a particular association.

Our thoughts will remain with those who have been impacted, and we hope to see proactive changes made in legislation to prevent future tragedies such as this.

Partner Austin B. Calhoun Presents to Florida Swimming Pool Association
On July 14, 2021, partner Austin B. Calhoun presented "Contracts, Price Increases, and Protecting Yourself As a Contractor" for the Northeast Florida Chapter of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA). Austin shared industry trends, legal tips, and best practices for dealing with the substantial material and labor price escalations in today's market. The presentation included guidance on how to properly handle active contracts, execute new agreements, and work through the current landscape in both residential and commercial installations.

The July 2021 FSPA Northeast Florida chapter meeting was the most attended one in the chapter's history, and we thank our friends at Harden for coordinating the successful evening. At Jimerson Birr, we provide tools, educational programs, resources, and best practices for issues faced by businesses in the industries we serve. If you are interested in exploring an attorney-led training for your business, please send us an email.
Jimerson Birr Legal Blogs
Are you keeping up with the latest information in business and law? Jimerson Birr publishes weekly blog posts covering topics from construction law, real estate development, sales and leasing law, banking and financial services law, community association law, and everything in between. Click here to subscribe today and stay up-to-date on the latest legal news from the industries we serve:
Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog
How to Publish a Legal Notice of a Foreclosure Sale

In every foreclosure action, the foreclosing lender will be required to publish some sort of legal advertisement or notice in a newspaper (e.g. the Notice of Foreclosure Sale). “Whenever a legal advertisement, publication, or notice relating to a foreclosure proceeding is required to be placed in a newspaper, it is the responsibility of the [foreclosing lender] to place such advertisement, publication, or notice.” Fla. Stat. § 702.035. Since publishing a legal notice concerning a foreclosure action is inevitable, it is imperative for lenders to know how to do so properly...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Construction Industry Legal Blog
Contractors and Owners in Florida Beware: Higher Interest Rates and Increased Penalties for Withholding or Misapplying Construction Funds?

On July 1, 2021, Florida Senate Bill 378 takes effect and amends a number of Florida Statutes governing prompt payment on various types of Florida construction projects. These changes to Florida law result in increased penalties for withholding or misapplying construction funds by increasing interest rates on overdue balances and mandating the suspension of construction licenses. These changes apply to any construction contracts executed on or after July 1, 2021...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Community Associations Industry Legal Blog
Florida Senate Bill 630: Changes to Florida Condominium and Homeowners’ Association Laws

On June 14, 2021, the Florida Legislature sent Senate Bill 630 to Governor DeSantis to be signed into law. Senate Bill 630 went into effect on July 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 630 contains many changes to Chapters 718 and 720, Florida Statutes, which govern condominium and homeowners’ associations, respectively. Most of the changes in Senate Bill 630 are minor, clarifying the language of the existing statutes rather than substantively changing the law.

This article will provide an overview of some of Senate Bill 630’s more substantive changes to Florida’s condominium association and homeowners’ association laws...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Real Estate Development, Sales & Leasing Industry Legal Blog
Using Florida’s Homestead Exemption to Reduce Your Property Taxes and Protect Your Property From Creditors

In the mid-1880s, the U.S. Government was searching for a way to encourage westward expansion. To achieve its goal, Congress passed the Homestead Act of 1862 which rewarded individuals brave enough to head west by allowing them to claim up to 160 acres of land as their own homestead. Many individuals took advantage of the Homestead Act, but the Act lost steam and was formally repealed in 1976.

As the federal homesteading frenzy slowed, Florida adopted the Homestead Exemption Amendment to the Florida Constitution. The Homestead Exemption, originally found in Article X, Section 7, can now be found in Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Hospitality Industry Legal Blog
Obtaining Attorney’s Fees Against Employees Who Represent Themselves in Employment Discrimination Cases

Over the past decade there has been a sharp rise in employment discrimination lawsuits filed by pro se plaintiffs (i.e., former employee plaintiffs who represent themselves). Although litigation against an unrepresented party may seem like a layup, it actually requires significant expense to defend because pro se plaintiffs often lack the training that is so crucial to the speedy and efficient disposition of cases. See Pfeifer v. Valukas, 117 F.R.D. 420, 422 (N.D. Ill. 1987) (noting the pro se party’s five-inch thick filing gave new meaning to the legal phrase “weight of authority”). It would thus be wise for employers to know what options are be available for obtaining attorney’s fees....

Click here to read the full blog post.

Firm News
Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
Join Charlie Jimerson and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a Party with a Purpose
Managing partner Charlie Jimerson recently joined the North Florida Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) as a Board Member. Through research, advocacy and funding, JDRF works to transform the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes. This is accomplished by both the board and countless chapters across the county supporting this community’s health and wellness today while focusing on a future without T1D.

On Thursday, November 4, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) of North Florida is hosting “A Night Under the Stars” at TPC Sawgrass. This year, JDRF’s annual gala has transformed into a party with a purpose that will support and accelerate life-changing research and breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). For 20 years, JDRF’s annual charity function has provided essential funds and support benefiting T1D advances for children, adults and families battling T1D. This year’s event will provide a taste of the gala with silent and live auctions, cocktails, dinner and music in a more intimate setting. Philanthropic-minded corporate and prominent members of our community will come together for an evening of entertainment that will serve the mission of JDRF to end Type 1 Diabetes.

JDRF’s “A Night Under the Stars” is inviting corporate sponsors to join this year’s party with a purpose. Learn more about this year's sponsorship opportunities and the ongoing work JDRF is tirelessly advancing.
July JB FOR ME Highlight Reel
It has been an exciting month at Jimerson Birr, and Tokyo isn’t the only place where the Olympics are happening. Our inspiring group of interns from The Bolles School created a collection of activities appropriately titled “The Office Olympics.” The events included a cupcake decorating contest, team trivia, trashketball (which is exactly what it sounds like), and they even hosted a version of the classic game show “To Tell the Truth.” After two days of competitions, the winner’s podium was announced with full fanfare. We are excited to have such great interns and can’t wait to see what these future leaders will accomplish.
Our summer interns from The Bolles School organized an impressive multi-day Office Olympics for the entire team to enjoy. Thank you Kristen, Fapianey, Sophie Grace and Tyler for seamlessly planning this original event!
A weeklong, March Madness style Old Maid Tournament also brought out some fire in our team this month. If you haven’t played this game in a while, grab a deck when you can. This game was intense, but there could only be one winner. Daphne, on our Business Development Team, took home the crown for this battle.

As much as we love to have fun and take part in competitions, we always try to incorporate activities centered around health and wellness each month as well. In addition to our monthly one-mile Mental Health Monday Walk, we celebrated National Eat Your Vegetables Day. The spread from Vale Food Co. was so delicious a few of our team members contemplated a vegetarian lifestyle. Part of being healthy is taking care of the important matters. On National Insurance Day, we brought the insurance marketplace to our office with Unum, Allstate, Harden and Colonial Life representatives taking one-on-one appointments. Whether it’s life, pet, event or auto insurance, the JB team was able to shop around and have the convenience of the experts coming to them. What a timesaver!
Office Olympics Day Two: The Cupcake Faceoff. Each team decorated a cupcake using various toppings in their team color to see who could design the most creative cupcake.
The Jimerson Birr team took the weeklong Old Maid Tournament seriously. The final round was energized, and our finalists were laser-focused on bringing home the win.
The entire team at Jimerson Birr came together to celebrate Melissa Murrin and Stewart Subjinski's recent graduations from law school. Cheers to both of their very bright futures.
Celebrating achievements and great work is also a core tenet for our team. When a colleague does a great deed, helps with a major project or just deserves extra recognition, we send a teamwide email about it and the Jimerson Birr Gong is banged. So for National Day of the Gong, we installed our first JB Royal Court and recognized our top gong receivers and givers.

We continued the festivities with a special Champagne Toast in honor of our recent law school graduates, Melissa Murrin and Stewart Subjinski. They worked hard to get to this moment, and we are looking forward to another celebration when they pass the bar. Overall, it has been a busy month with much to celebrate, and we are all looking forward to what next month has in store for team JB.
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